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I am currently seeking a publisher for my suspense novel, "The Time of Leaving", which explores a Mexican immigrant’s loss and revelations with a keen eye towards the family, but with the elements of a greater mystery, similar to the work of such authors as Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez and Barbara Kingsolver.
The Time of Leaving is inspired by stories I have heard from family and friends during my years living and teaching English to Spanish language speakers in San Diego.
Self-reliant and proud, Salvador thinks he has found the American Dream working as a vineyard manager for Mr. Chase, his father figure and patrón. But when a body is found in a ditch, and one of Salvador’s workers, Mando, is suspected of the crime, Salvador’s past catches up to him. The dead body reminds him of the murder of his parents and his guilt over the abandonment of his sister, Lucia. Salvador makes decisions that force him to flee back to Mexico, but he gets stuck in San Ysidro. Alone and destitute, Salvador must learn to survive on the streets...
"Bisecting the valley below was a double wall of corrugated steel and wire mesh separated by a ten-foot stretch of no-man’s land. The city, a prism of asphalt, concrete, and rainbow colors, slumped against one side of the wall, then bled east and west through a floodplain. It seemed that all of Mexico was pressed against the fence, that it should bend and crumble from the weight."
The Time of Leaving is a timely, contemporaneous first novel from budding author Jill Stegman. In her weaving together of a border setting and the complex issues it conjures, Stegman manages a novel perspective to her story: that of a Mexican man attempting to escape rather than enter California.
Joy H. Greenberg, PhD, MFA Greenshadow Productions
“Set along and across the Mexican-American border, The Time of Leaving is a sweeping, ambitious, and deeply engaging exploration of the challenges Mexican-Americans face in negotiating their allegiances to each country and to legal and illegal opportunities for survival and advancement. Stegman convincingly illuminates the shadow economies and subcultures on both sides of the border, and provides compelling examples of the toll the drug war is taking on ordinary citizens.”
- Valerie Laken, Author of Dream House and Separate Kingdoms
Assocoate Professor, English, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Her Mentors have included Benjamin Percy, Mary Helen Stefaniak, and Kevin McIlvoy.
Jill has short stories published in such literary journals as Isotope, Literary Mama, North Atlantic Review, RE:AL, South Dakota Review, and Storyglossia. She has also been a finalist for the Glimmer Train Emerging Writer’s Fiction Award and has been nominated for “Best of Web” anthologies. She has an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Pacific University, Oregon. Her mentors have included Benjamin Percy, Mary Helen Stefaniak, and Kevin McIlvoy.
Jill currently lives on the Central Coast of California, near Morro Bay. She's at work on a memoir.
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